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You are encouraged to view the Greek myths in a completely new way with this fascinating book that focuses rather wonderfully on the women from the tales. Natalie Haynes “redresses the imbalance… she puts the women of the Greek myths on equal footing with the menfolk”. She has chosen ten women and here we see how they were actually viewed in the ancient world. These are stories that include Hera, Athena, Artemis, Eurydice, and Penelope. As the author explains, of the eight tragedies written by Eurpides that survive today, seven were titled by women, only one included a man. Yet over the years the stories have altered, the women have been overshadowed, made into monsters, or they even brought about the downfall of men. “Which version of a story we choose to tell... reflect both the teller and the reader. They are not villains, victims, wives and monsters: they are people”. Pandora’s Jar really is the most interesting and readable book, it sits on the Liz Picks of the Month and comes as highly recommended by me.
'Reading Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths by Natalie Haynes: Funny, sharp explications of what these sometimes not-very-nice women were up to, and how they sometimes made idiots of . . . but read on!' Margaret Atwood
The Greek myths are among the world's most important cultural building blocks and they have been retold many times, but rarely do they focus on the remarkable women at the heart of these ancient stories.
Stories of gods and monsters are the mainstay of epic poetry and Greek tragedy, from Homer to Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, from the Trojan War to Jason and the Argonauts. And still, today, a wealth of novels, plays and films draw their inspiration from stories first told almost three thousand years ago. But modern tellers of Greek myth have usually been men, and have routinely shown little interest in telling women's stories. And when they do, those women are often painted as monstrous, vengeful or just plain evil. But Pandora - the first woman, who according to legend unloosed chaos upon the world - was not a villain, and even Medea and Phaedra have more nuanced stories than generations of retellings might indicate.
Now, in Pandora's Jar, Natalie Haynes - broadcaster, writer and passionate classicist - redresses this imbalance. Taking Pandora and her jar (the box came later) as the starting point, she puts the women of the Greek myths on equal footing with the menfolk. After millennia of stories telling of gods and men, be they Zeus or Agamemnon, Paris or Odysseus, Oedipus or Jason, the voices that sing from these pages are those of Hera, Athena and Artemis, and of Clytemnestra, Jocasta, Eurydice and Penelope.
Natalie Haynes is beyond brilliant. Pandora's Jar is a treasure box of classical delights. Never has ancient misogyny been presented with so much wit and style. -- Amanda Foreman
Natalie Haynes is the nation's muse -- Adam Rutherford
Reading Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths by Natalie Haynes: Funny, sharp explications of what these sometimes not-very-nice women were up to, and how they sometimes made idiots of . . . but read on! -- Margaret Atwood
Witty, erudite and subversive, this takes the women of Greek myth-the women who are sidelined, vilified, misunderstood or ignored-and puts them centre stage. -- Samantha Ellis, author of How to Be a Heroine and Take Courage
Beyonce, Star Trek, Ray Harryhausen . . . the most enjoyable book about Greek myths you will ever read, absolutely brimming with subversive enthusiasm. -- Mark Haddon
Publication date: 01/10/2020
Publisher: Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan
|Publication date:||1st October 2020|
|Publisher:||Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan|
|Genres:||Gift Books, History, Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month,|
|Categories:||Classical texts, Myth & legend told as fiction,|
Natalie Haynes is a writer, broadcaster, reviewer and classicist. She was once a stand-up comic, but retired when she realised she preferred tragedy to comedy. Always keen to be paid for what she would be reading anyway, she judged the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year in 2010, The Women's Prize for Fiction in 2012, and the Man Booker Prize in 2013. The Amber Fury is her first novel. CLICK HERE to download an exclusive Twinterview where Joss Whedon chats with Natalie Haynes Picture Credit: Dan MershMore About Natalie Haynes